portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements united states

corporate dominance | government

ACTION ALERT: Forest User Fee Repeal Bill

Let us vow to make 2008 the "Year Of The Dead RAT!" No more fees for parking, overlooks, scenic drives, hiking/riding trails, backcountry permits, toilets, or picnic tables - all of which are currently incurring fees or penalties for non-payment under the RAT!

Senator Baucus is currently circulating a letter to his Senate colleagues seeking co-sponsors for S2438. YOU need to contact each of YOUR Senators and ask them to agree to be a co-sponsor.

You can do this by email, phone, or fax. At the Senate website, www.senate.gov you can pull down a list of Senators. Find yours (you have two of them) and you can then click to open their individual websites. There you will find contact information.

under the RAT!


PUBLIC LANDS, PUBLIC ACCESS. NO MORE "PAY TO PLAY" on land that you already own!

Please TAKE ACTION NOW.

Call, email, or fax your Senators TODAY!
Dear Public Lands Supporter,

Many thanks to all of you who have sent messages of congratulations following the announcement that Fee Repeal legislation (S2438) has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Max Baucus of Montana and his colleagues Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) Jon Tester (D-Montana).

The WSNFC has been one of the most visible forces behind this effort (especially our late President Robert Funkhouser), but it would never have happened without the support of thousands of individuals like you.

Now it is time to rally around this bill and kill the Recreation Access Tax (RAT). It is going to take an all-out grassroots effort, and we will be calling on you to take action several times during the process.

Let us vow to make 2008 the "Year Of The Dead RAT!"

It is time NOW to take the first step.

Senator Baucus is currently circulating a letter to his Senate colleagues seeking co-sponsors for S2438. YOU need to contact each of YOUR Senators and ask them to agree to be a co-sponsor.

You can do this by email, phone, or fax. At the Senate website, www.senate.gov you can pull down a list of Senators. Find yours (you have two of them) and you can then click to open their individual websites. There you will find contact information. If you live near one of the Senator's local offices, a hand-delivered letter would be very effective. If you prefer to phone, we suggest you use the Washington DC phone number. Another option is to use the email form provided at each website. And you can still write a good old-fashioned letter, although we suggest you fax it rather than mailing it due to security delays on mailed items. A fax number is listed at each website.

Keep your communication short and to the point: Just ask politely that he or she agree to co-sponsor S2438, the Fee Repeal and Expanded Access Act. Please stick to just that topic, don't bring in other issues, which dilute the main message.

The text of S2438 can be read at  http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:s.02438: The repeal of Forest Service and BLM access fees is contained in Section 3(b)(1) which re-instates the language from the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act that governed such fees for over 30 years. That language reads in part:

(b) RECREATION USE FEES."Each Federal agency developing, administering, providing or furnishing at Federal expense, specialized outdoor recreation sites, facilities, equipment, or services shall, in accordance with this subsection and subsection (d) of this section, provide for the collection of daily recreation use fees at the place of use or any reasonably convenient location: Provided, That in no event shall there be a charge by any such agency for the use, either singly or in any combination, of drinking water, wayside exhibits, roads, overlook sites, visitors' centers, scenic drives, or toilet facilities, nor shall there be any such charge solely for the use of picnic tables: Provided, That in no event shall there be a charge for the use of any campground not having a majority of the following: tent or trailer spaces, picnic tables, drinking water, access road, refuse containers, toilet facilities, personal collection of the fee by an employee or agent of the Federal agency operating the facility, reasonable visitor protection, and simple devices for containing a campfire (where campfires are permitted).


No more fees for parking, overlooks, scenic drives, hiking/riding trails, backcountry permits, toilets, or picnic tables - all of which are currently incurring fees or penalties for non-payment under the RAT!

PUBLIC LANDS, PUBLIC ACCESS. NO MORE "PAY TO PLAY" on land that you already own!

Please TAKE ACTION NOW.

Call, email, or fax your Senators TODAY!

Thanks,

Kitty Benzar





-----------
From NewWest.net:

RETURN SANITY TO PUBLIC LAND FUNDING
The Baucus-Crapo Bill, Afterthoughts

By Bill Schneider, 12-20-07

On December 10, U.S. Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) introduced the S. 2438, the Fee Repeal and Expanded Access Act. You can read the breaking news here and a follow-up article with more details here. The introduction of this landmark legislation by Baucus, a moderate democrat who currently chairs the Senate Finance Committee, and Crapo, a conservative republican from perhaps the reddest state of them all, Idaho, should serve as a major wake-up call for the Bush administration that it has gotten way off track in managing recreation on public lands. If it doesn't wake them up, well, then it must be a coma.

Baucus has been upset about aggressive fee policy and steadily decreasing recreation opportunity and facilities on public lands for many years, but he announced his intentions for this bill during an interview with NewWest.net last April. We all know politicians promise things that never happen, but here is a sterling exception. Baucus promised us this bill, and he delivered--and in grand style, I might add. By teaming up with one of the most conservative republicans in Congress, Mike Crapo, he more or less guaranteed us that the bill will be taken seriously by other members of Congress and the Bush administration. His staff is currently circulating a letter to fellow senators encouraging them to co-sponsor the legislation.

Read the rest of Schneider's column at

 http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/the_baucus_crapo_bill_afterthoughts/C146/L41/

homepage: homepage: http://www.WesternSlopeNoFee.org
address: address: P.O. Box 135 Durango CO 81302


Senators 27.Dec.2007 06:22

in Oregon

Oregon Senators are Gorton Smith & Ron Wyden